Discussion: Overcoming Challenges to Working With Life Transition and Developmental Issues
You bring your own couple and family experiences that may enrich or detract from your success as a couple and family practitioner. Contextualize these issues within your professional practice, and think about how your experience might impact your work with clients. Consider whether there are issues you might find challenging to work with because of your personal history, values, or beliefs, and then reflect on how you might address these challenges.
For this Discussion, you will examine your personal experiences and the challenges you might encounter when working with life transition and developmental issues as a couple and family practitioner.
By Day 4
Post a brief description of the life transition or developmental issue you find most challenging to work with and explain why this issue is challenging for you. Then, explain professional development steps you might take to overcome this challenge.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Make a suggestion.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting
Post a brief description of the life transition or developmental issue you find most challenging to work with and explain why this issue is challenging for you.
I find working with stepfamilies composed of adolescent children as the most challenging life transition issue. I come from a blended family. Both my parents remarried when I was 11 years old. My older brother and I lived with our mother and visited our father every other weekend. Prior to my mother remarrying my stepfather, I was accustomed to our family structure and dynami. I did not take the news of my mother remarrying well. My stepfather and I developed a healthy relationship. It was not until my teenage years where we began to experience challenges in our relationship. There were problems regarding boundaries. During these years, my mother and I also had problems within our relationship. She would confine in her husband, and I felt as though she broke our trust. My mother and I participated in a mother-daughter therapy session to improve our relationship. Considering my personal experiences, stepfamilies can be challenging for various reasons. These reasons include a stepparent joining a family with a system already established, the stepparent being an outsider, children having trouble adjusting to change, and the step couple developing a healthy relationship (Gurman, Lebow & Snyder, 2015). Then, explain professional development steps you might take to overcome this challenge.The professional development steps that I might take to overcome this challenge include increasing my self-awareness and mindfulness. When working with couples and families the professional must remain neutral and not take sides (Williams, 2012). I will analyze and address my emotions relating to my personal experience so that I do not impose my beliefs when assisting clients. Furthermore, I would participate in specific trainings. Stepfamilies are a complex group to work with. Trainings will increase my knowledge and enhance my practice with this population. References Gurman, A. S., Lebow, J. L., Snyder, D. K. (2015). Clinical handbook of couple therapy. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Williams, M. (2012). Couples counseling: A step by step guide for therapists. Boston, MA: Viale Publishing.
Colleague 2: Jessica Jones
The life transition that I find most challenging to deal with would be death of a family member. The reason why I have selected this issue is because I have never been good at consoling a grieving person it’s like I never know what to say. Another reason that I find this transition to be challenging is because grief is so complex and involves many factors, so it seems a bit complicated to me. The professional steps that I plan to take to overcome this challenge is to become more aware of grief and loss. This involves being aware of the diverse forms of loss and grief associated with it, whether it be death, abortion, abuse, disability, chronic illness, divorce, and mental illnesses. Another way to prepare for this is to educate myself and familiarize myself with the different theories that apply to death or grief and use one that I can relate to the most (Goldsworthy, 2005). Goldsworthy, K. K. (2005). Grief and loss theory in social work practice: All changes involve loss, just as all losses require change. Australian Social Work, 58(2), 167–178.